Abraham offered his testimony before the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which was holding hearings on the blackout that happened in the Northeast.
He said that there were a number of theories circulating as to what might have happened and who might be responsible, but that it is all only speculation at this point.
Abraham described the nature of the electric transmission grid to Congress, explaining that the system consists of thousands of power plants, tens of thousands of substations, switching facilities and other specialized equipment, hundreds of control centers and about 260,000 miles of power lines stretching all across the country.
The U.S.-Canada task force consists of experts from several sectors of the government and industry. The U.S. members of the group include Tom Ridge, Secretary of Homeland Security, Pat Wood, Chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, and Nils Diaz, Chairman of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
The Canadian members, besides the co-chairman of the task force, Herb Dahliwal (Minister of Natural Resources), are Deputy Prime Minister John Manley, Kenneth Vollman, Chairman of the National Energy Board, and Linda J. Keen, President of the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission.
Abraham said the task force is organized into three working groups, which are the electric system working group, the nuclear power working group and the security working group. Each working group also consists of technical, management and engineering experts appointed by the governors of each U.S. state affected by the blackout and the province of Ontario, in addition to the governmental agencies involved in the investigation.
Abraham said the task force was determined to complete the inquiry in a timely manner. “We hope to have conclusions and recommendations in a matter of weeks, not months. But we will not compromise quality for speed.”
He also mentioned that the group would only focus on facts and will not draw any conclusions until all the facts are in.